Minnesota Twins: minor league players to watch in 2018

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 25: John Curtiss
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 25: John Curtiss /
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Jovani Moran, LHP

The Twins got Moran in the 7th round of the 2015 draft out of Puerto Rico, and he had an impressive debut in the GCL, throwing 19 2/3 innings, with a 4.12 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and a 9/17 BB/K ratio.

However, Moran then missed the 2016 season after having bone chips removed from his elbow. As the 2017 season opened, he seemed to fall off the radar of a number of people, and it wasn’t until mid-season for Elizabethton in 2018 that people really seemed to notice how incredible his season was.

In the regular season, Moran made 11 appearances for the E-Twins, throwing 24 2/3 innings, with a 0.36 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, and an incredible 6/45 BB/K ratio. That comes out to a 50% strikeout rate on the season as he struck out 45 of the 90 batters he faced on the year.

However, if you add in his playoff performances for Elizabethton, he threw 4 perfect playoff innings with 7 strikeouts, meaning on his entire year, he had 13 appearances, 28 2/3 innings, a 0.31 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 5.9% walk rate, and a 51% strikeout rate.

Moran works from the left side with a high 3/4 arm slot, throwing a fastball with a ton of spin that he can manipulate in a bunch of ways, working in the low-90s mostly, but never really moving the same way twice in a plate appearance. He has a breaking pitch that was slurvy coming out of high school, and he’s shown more of a hard break to the pitch, throwing it as a hard curve.

It’s still unclear whether the Twins will progress with Moran in the bullpen or as a starter, but with an arm that can get swings at that rate, he could have a ton of success in either role if he can just get a “show me” change over as a starter.

Next: Big Velo Arm